Safety Tips for Hiking in the City at Night

Long summer days are gone, and winter nights come early, especially here in Canada. I do a lot of my training for the PCT in the city, and sometimes I end up going out alone near sunset or after dark. For my peace of mind and Tim’s, I came up with a list of things to do in order to stay safe when out on these long walks at night.


Safety Tips for Hiking in the City at Night

  • Don’t go solo – if you can find someone to go with, it’s always safer and more fun with a friend
  • Let someone know where you’re going – give a planned route and estimated time of return to someone, so they can check things out if you haven’t returned; you can also use an app like Map My Run which allows you to invite others to track with you (this feature requires an MVP subscription)
  • Take your phone – most of us don’t go anywhere without our phones anyway, and they’re great for a number of reasons: you can download a flashlight app, check the map, call 911 if necessary, check in with someone by text or phone, or call for a ride if you decide you’ve had enough
  • Carry a headlamp – just in case you end up in an area with no lights, and you don’t want to run the battery down on your phone
  • Have some money or a way to pay for a taxi or bus – good to have if you decide to go home early and don’t want to walk back
  • Wear reflective clothing – especially if you have dark clothing, it helps people see you
  • Wear layers – carry extra layers for cooler night temperatures and just in case the weather changes
  • Stay away from secluded unlit areas – save these hikes for daytime
  • Don’t wear headphones to listen to music/podcasts/books – this allows you to be more aware of what is going on around you, and you’d be surprised what you’ll learn from the quiet
  • Carry a whistle – they’re not just for alerting bears, they make a lot of noise and draw attention if needed


These are just some of the things you can do to stay safe on those solo training nights. Common sense is another good tool to pack along. Have fun and keep these tips in mind anytime you’re out walking, running, or biking alone.



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